Legal & Regulatory

External Commercial Borrowing in India: Easier Access for Startups

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By Pritesh Samuel

India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) made a statement on October 3rd that will allow startups to accept foreign currency loans of up to US$ 3 million a year under the external commercial borrowing (ECB) route. Startups will now be able to raise the amount either in Indian rupees or any convertible foreign currency or a combination of both. Guidelines are expected to be issued at the end of the month.

Earlier in February, the RBI allowed startups to raise Indian rupee loans through the ECB route. Another advantage of allowing startups to borrow in foreign currency would be to cut down conversion costs. However, they will need to comply with guidelines like locking in foreign exchange rules. Prior to this easing of borrowing rules, in July, the Indian securities regulator – Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) – introduced easier regulations for startups that wished to raise funds from the equity markets.

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Key Considerations for Conducting Due Diligence in the Indian Market

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By Dezan Shira & Associates

Companies determining their market entry strategy in India should be aware of regulations related to FDI, foreign exchange, security and corporate law, as well as direct and indirect taxes. All companies entering the market must be in compliance with the Companies Act of 2013 as well as other acts related to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), if it is listed.

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Crowdfunding and the Importance of Protecting Your Intellectual Property

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By A&A LAW

In an era of ubiquitous technology and information, protecting Intellectual Property becomes a key task, especially when a firm or individual innovator opts for fundraising through the publicly driven strategy of ‘Crowdfunding’.

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India Regulatory Brief: Unified Railway and Union Budget, India’s Complex Retail Landscape, and GST Rules Update

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Government Approves Merger of Railways and Union Budgets, Contemplates Advancing Budget Presentation

After a long period of consultation and deliberation among government ministries, key stakeholders, and experts, the Cabinet decided to approve the merger of the railway and union budgets from 2017. This marks the end of a 92 year colonial legacy of presenting the separate railways budget and follows from recommendations by the Niti Ayog, the national policy think tank established under the Modi government. The merger is meant to complement the organizational restructuring recently introduced in the railways ministry by removing it from the deeply political budgetary exercise. Among other benefit, the merger will allow the railways ministry to work under the radar and implement the massive scope of reforms required. Further, the government has clarified that the railways ministry will retain functional autonomy despite its proposals getting amalgamated within the general budget.

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Legal Alternatives: Arbitration in India

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By Pritesh Samuel

Arbitration, particularly commercial arbitration, has become increasingly common in India. Although common in cases with large contracts involving infrastructure and construction, arbitration is commonly used to resolve issues related to admiralty law, import-export transactions, and stock exchanges. However, issues relating to criminal law, rent, or taxation have their own dispute resolution mechanisms and cannot be subject to arbitration. While international arbitration follows a set standard, most arbitration in India still have provisions for ad hoc arbitration. Typically, arbitration in India has been lengthy, like a civil suit, with unsatisfactory results for the two parties.

Arbitration in India is preferred to civil suits as the latter can take long to decide. It is also a preferred method of dispute resolution in technical matters where experts are required. Nevertheless, some pitfalls remain. Arbitration has become an expensive recourse and several times the losing party can challenge the decision in court. This is particularly true when the losing party is a government organization.

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Getting Familiar with a ‘One Person Company’ (OPC) in India

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By A&A LAW

The law of companies is ever evolving, and 2013 saw the introduction of the updated Companies Act. The Act contained one of the most significant steps in the direction of modernizing the law for companies in the introduction of One Person Company (OPC). Defined under Section 3 (1) (c) of the Companies Act, 2013, an OPC is basically a limited liability company that is owned by one person only. It was the J.J. Irani Expert Committee that first recommended the formation of such a type of company.

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Strategies for Repatriating Funds from India – New Issue of India Briefing Magazine Out Now

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IB 2016 03 issue_cover RepatriatingThe new issue of India Briefing magazine, titled “Strategies for Repatriating Funds from India“, is out now and available as a complimentary download in the Asia Briefing Publications Store through the month of September.
                        

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India Regulatory Brief: GST Council Expected by November 11 and Changes in the Union Budget Formulation

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Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council to be Set Up by November 11

The Cabinet approved the process, formation, and functions of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on Monday, September 12, 2016, following the President’s assent last week to the GST Bill. The Cabinet also decided on the constitution of the GST Secretariat and the respective officers responsible for implementing the decisions of the Council. As per the provisions of the GST Constitutional Amendment Act, the GST Council will get established within 60 days from the date of notification. This means the Council, which will be chaired by the Union Finance Minister and will comprise of representatives from all 29 states and two union territories, will have to be set up by November 11.

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